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Employees Want to Decide When They’ll Get Paid

Faster pay can help restaurants recruit and retain workers.

Restaurants are facing a brave new world when it comes to hiring and retention. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are still 1 million fewer hospitality workers today than in 2019.

“In general, people have a lot more options now, and the hiring pool for restaurants has shrunk,” says Brooke Hluza, director of growth initiatives at Restaurant365. “The gig economy has created a situation where people are working multiple jobs, and they have more flexibility. Post-pandemic, people are entering different careers than they had before. If an operator is out there looking for a standard restaurant worker, it’s incredibly competitive. If someone offers higher pay, better benefits, or faster pay, that’s who the worker will choose as their employer. It’s an employees’ market right now—in some instances, employees can essentially name their price.” 

Competitive, fair wages and benefits are table stakes for recruiting and retaining employees. Beyond that, what else can restaurant operators do to attract workers and incentivize them to stick around? According to Hluza, faster pay is a crucial next step.

“We’re living in a culture of instant gratification, and people strongly believe they should be paid after they work a shift,” she says. “They have so many opportunities in the gig economy to get paid right away, and it’s become an expectation.”

The restaurant industry was instrumental in paving the way for the concept of daily pay with the practice of cashing out tips every night. As the world grows more and more cashless, however, restaurants may struggle to keep cash on hand. Many have shifted to paying employees tips through payroll—so workers now have to wait longer for their money.

“A great payroll experience for both employees and managers is one that’s easy,” Hluza says. “It connects with other tech solutions the restaurant uses, like the POS system and the time and attendance data. Connecting this information to payroll is really critical, because that makes the actual payroll process faster—and managers are able to pay employees accurately and on time.”

R365 Workforce, a product of Restaurant365, is one of the only payroll solutions on the market purpose-built for restaurants. In addition to hiring, onboarding, benefits, and scheduling tools, R365 Workforce grants employees the flexibility of getting daily pay.

“Daily pay can be a great way to recruit and retain talent,” Hluza says. “You can post on your careers page that you offer daily pay, and at the same time, you can empower your existing employees to decide when they want to get paid.”

Some brands have also used Restaurant365’s daily pay capability to create employee incentives, offering cash prizes awarded at the end of the shift. “Say you want to really promote a menu item during a shift,” Hluza says. “You could easily tell employees, ‘Whoever sells the most today is getting an extra $50 at the end of the shift.’ Having that instant gratification can make a critical difference.”

In addition to payroll, Restaurant365 offers a full restaurant management solution, from accounting to inventory to scheduling. “It allows restaurants to do everything in one place instead of having to work across multiple disparate systems,” Hluza says. “Our customers see so much increased efficiency.” 

To learn more, visit Restaurant365’s website.